I've been consistent on this issue since 1980, when I sued the USOC for grounding U.S. athletes due to the Moscow Games boycott, spearheaded by President Jimmy Carter. In 1980 we could have showed up, as Americans, and beaten the Soviets on their own turf - which would be more powerful and meaningful than following a failed political stunt that had zero positive gains for the U.S. or its athletes.
More to the point - politics almost always ruins sports, especially the Olympic Games. The Games are to be a fair and even field for competition, for all of the peoples of the world to set aside their differences and compete together in unity.
If athletes - Russians included - wish to #PrayForUkraine, that's not political. Wishing for an end to this devastating conflict and calling for peace - this is not political. But joining a political rally designed to highlight the actions of the Russian government - that is definitely political.
I would advise all athletes to keep their politics to themselves and focus on using their platforms to aid and help the greater causes of unity, peace, and cooperation among all of the peoples of the world.
Do we need a "Trans" Olympics? Ever since I joined the IOC nearly 35 years ago, the Games have always been upheld as a place for fair and even competition amongst all of the different peoples and nations of the world.
We need a scientifically based methodology to determine how far the benefits of testosterone - and male growth from puberty - can be acceptable when trans athletes compete outside of their birth gender.
The ongoing Lia Thomas issue is less about trans/LGBT rights, and moreso about keeping sporting events, for both men and women, as fair and as even as we can get.
One of my favorite civil rights YouTube channels strikes again: Amagansett Press! Jason from AP shows exactly how an interaction between citizens and police should go: a courteous and service minded attitude from the officers, and respect back in kind from the citizen.
Additionally, Utah is just always so beautiful. I am always breathless when seeing those skies, wide roads, and mountain backdrops. I look forward to visiting St. George and Salt Lake City once again later this year.
LINK FOR YOUR REFERENCE: https://youtu.be/qsZS8guMgdA
Official blog of author, athlete, and IOC official, Ms. Anita DeFrantz.